Category: Communications

10

Testing Vesper Cortex M1: excellent AIS, monitoring, and much more in one box

What a box! If possible, I’d expand the headline to “excellent AIS transceiver, dual antenna splitter, high-performance GNSS, AIS display and collision avoidance, NMEA 0183 & 2000 data multiplexing, nav app WiFi support, anchor watch, and general off-boat monitoring.” And even that long list leaves out the powerful VHF radio that’s also inside the M1 hub, accessible with the innovative multifunction Cortex handsets, and understandably the most prominent feature in Vesper’s marketing. But that’s my plan for this review…

20

Internet afloat 2020, this should be easier!

Working from boat, cabin, RV, or wherever you find yourself is so very 2020, but for most of us, that takes internet connectivity. Unfortunately, staying online via a cellular connection has gotten increasingly harder. I’m baffled about why the year of nomadic work is also the year that carriers have made it so very difficult, but what follows is an update on what I’ve done historically, what’s stopped working recently, and how I’m trying to remedy the situation.

12

Searching for a quality VHF/AIS combo antenna, Shakespeare 6500-WB found

A high-quality combination VHF and AIS antenna was on Gizmo’s shopping list this summer, even though I knew that it’s challenging to do both really well. The USCG Navigation Center spectrum diagram above tells the story (as does their detailed U.S. VHF Channel list): The marine VHF audio channels cluster around 157 MHz while the two main AIS channels are up at 162 MHz. That’s why dedicated VHF and AIS antennas are optimized differently…

9

Presenting Panbo Podcast

Pardon the alliteration, but I’m pretty excited to debut the Panbo Podcast. This occasional series will feature conversations with important members of the marine electronics industry. Our first episode is a conversation with Vesper’s CTO, Carl Omundsen, about the launch of Vesper’s Cortex VHF radio, AIS transceiver, and boat monitoring product.

10

GL.iNet AR750 travel router, a low-cost boat router option

Regardless of how you get internet connectivity onboard your boat, I’m a big advocate for using a dedicated boat router. There’s nothing inherently special about a boat router; it could be a cheap router designed for use at home or a sophisticated system designed just for use on megayachts. The options cover a broad price range and I’ve recently come across an inexpensive, relatively easy-to-use, feature-rich router that seems like a good option.

9

Why marine VHF, and the call you never want to make

Recreational boaters are using marine VHF radio less and less, which seems worrisome because VHF channel 16 is often the quickest and best way to ask for help. And, wow, can I offer a vivid example! Imagine the sheer terror of suddenly finding yourself without propulsion while right in front of the unrelenting wall of steel that is the bow of a commercial barge being pushed at about six knots, no brakes. I not only heard the unforgettable VHF call — and the following calls from the successful rescue boat, thank goodness — but also recorded most of them thanks to a great Icom radio feature…

5

New Standard Horizon GX2400 Matrix VHF

Replaces GX2200 Matrix radios which are no longer available. Notable New Features: NMEA2000 and NMEA0183 compatible, Second Station wired RAM4 or wireless RAM4X capability, Integrated 32 Code and 4 Code Voice Scrambler,
New E2O operating system, Upgraded display with brighter backlight, Noise Canceling function for both receive and transmit audio…

1

Learn About Internet and TV for Boats & Yachts at KVH Educational Seminars 5/14 and 5/20

As part of the Virtual Palm Beach International Boat Show, marine electronics leader KVH is presenting two free virtual educational seminars on the topics of bringing Internet and satellite TV to the boat. “Even though boaters can’t go to the Palm Beach show in person this year, the virtual webinars are a great way to …

8

ZOLEO Inc. debuts the world’s first truly seamless global messaging solution for smartphones

ZOLEO Inc., an emerging global messaging solutions company, today announced the launch of ZOLEO, the world’s first truly seamless global messaging and personal safety solution for smartphone users who venture beyond mobile coverage. The flagship product from a joint venture between Beam Communications Pty Ltd. and Roadpost Inc., ZOLEO is the first consumer-focused messaging solution of its kind based on Iridium Short Burst Data (SBD), cellular and Wi-Fi standards…